Primal Fear - Seven Seals
(3 reader votes, average 3.00 out of 5)
by Ben Perry
 
Primal Fear - Seven Seals review
 
Band Name: Primal Fear
Album Name: Seven Seals
Release Date: October 5, 2005

Band on Record:

Ralf Scheepers: Lead Vocals
Stefan Leibing: Guitars
Tom Naumann: Guitars
Mat Sinner: Bass, Vocals
Randy Black: Drums

Track 1: “Demons and Angels”
The fast guitar riffing is reminiscent of older Primal Fear, the melody here is reserved for specific times of the song however and that melody soars above everything. It should have been more forward in the mix if you ask me as it currently resides behind the vocals and drums. Scheepers’ vocals are more his own and less Rob Halford’s (Judas Priest, Halford) which is different to hear.
Song Rating: 8.5 out of 10


Track 2: “Rollercoaster”
One of my favorite Primal Fear tunes, the music itself has a sense of speaking of what a roller coaster really is like, without any vocals added by Scheepers. The pinch harmonics are something new (or used more than before) to the music, and they use them quite effectively. Zakk Wylde could take a page from their book :lol:. The vocals are good here, but during the verses seems to lose some feeling that shines through the chorus.
Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10


Track 3: “Seven Seals”
An ominous beginning with the keyboards and with some well-placed guitar picking and adds in some progressive drumming and keyboards and the recipe for a great, memorable song takes shape. We’re not even talking about the vocals, which are top-notch and possibly one of Scheepers’ best performances. This song is a winner all-around.
Song Rating: 10 out of 10


Track 4: “Evil Spell”
Here we see how Primal Fear can change up their songs from a softer edged piano and guitar part (not to forget the ominous or, perhaps reverent? chanting in the background) and then drop it off into complete unknowingness before throwing the switch for overdrive. The chorus is quite infectious, and the vocals maintain a style that is all Scheepers’ own breaking off into a lower scale solo that keeps the speed and intensity up as it changes gears in each section of the solo.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10


Track 5: “The Immortal Ones”
There’s more of an anthemic feel to this song, especially during the chorus with the belting out of “We are, We are.” The music is great with some great signature changes and speed, not to mention a mighty fine solo.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10


Track 6: “Diabolus”
The music is extremely blown up on this epic song, and I’m not referring to a bad term of “blown up.” There is a lot of time when nothing is happening except Scheepers spinning his greatly sung lines over a basic drum pattern and sporadic guitar picking, but when the time comes everything is thrown at you. Big guitar sounds with keyboard backing, surprisingly not much drumming that can be discerned from everything else, but the bass is definitely pumped up.
Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10


Track 7: “All for One”
This song took a long time to grow on me, I’m not sure why. The chorus is definitely my favorite vocal part, and it does have a semi-anthem feel to it. The music is quite good with an almost basic drum pattern that works to make it memorable and the guitars playing over everything creates a bombastic sound, especially during the instrumental breakdowns. I like the solo too, except it seems to suffer from the back in the mix some of the other ones have had on the album for at least half the playing.
Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10


Track 8: “Carniwar”
This sounds like the old Primal Fear to me, probably more than anything else on the album. The high soaring vocals over the thundering drumming and fast guitars with a solo that does not sit in the background but commands recognition truly give me that feel of the older band (not that the new direction this album took is bad). The chorus is kind of ludicrous and my only real problem with the song.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10


Track 9: “Question of Honor”
The third of the seven-minute tunes on this album, and this one definitely goes on wayyyyy too long. I get bored about halfway through for some reason, either the music isn’t gripping me well enough as it should, or my A.D.D. is really coming through for such long songs. The beginning is definitely my favorite with the piano playing around the heavy blasts of instrumental leading into some sweet melody. Vocals are pretty decent on here, but not one of the best moments for Mr. Scheepers.
Song Rating: 7 out of 10


Track 10: “In Memory”
The patented “power metal ballad” that seems to creep up on most power metal albums. This one, sounds more like a hard rock ballad than anything Primal Fear or other power metal bands would put out. Just showing another branch of their metamorphosis, I guess. The song is not bad, the guitar scale is interesting and sounds crisp, the keyboards give the correct atmosphere and the vocals are great. The powered parts are pretty well executed as well.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10


Track 11: “The Union (Bonus Track)”
This bonus track is a great tune, and reminds me a lot of older Primal Fear. I’m thinking “The Healer” here for a relational tune, and that is one of my favorites! Wish this was on the actual disc, if you do not have it go find it! There are some great guitar chops and melodic vocal work, if you like anything this band has done this is your tune.
Song Rating: 10 out of 10


Overall Review:
The direction Primal Fear took on this album follows some of the same patterns as their previous albums, specifically in the lyrical content of war and the effects it has, in addition to the end of time with magical tinges. However, musically the band has gone in a different direction within some respects. Ralf Scheepers has begun to form his own vocal presence on this album, whereas before he styled his singing after Rob Halford. Not a bad thing, but here he is able to showcase his own talents without having the constant comparison. Additionally, the band has stopped sounding like a faster and newer Judas Priest adding in more keyboards and certain guitar sequences such as pinch harmonics. The sound is definitely taking form as one that is their own and worthy of recognition instead of just being a “copy-cat” of Judas Priest (which, I must stress in no way is a negative thing in and of itself).

Seven Seals is an album mostly focused on the end of time and the events that lead to the ending. The album name in and of itself alludes to the end as the seven seals in biblical terms are opened and unleash the seven judgments of God upon the Earth. The line of a red moon is also referencing the Book of Revelation, the “Four beasts of death” are also lifted from that book of prophetic visions. The music is perfect in conveying the feeling of the end, and that is truly what makes the song powerful. With the lyrics sung as they are and the music the ethos created is probably the strongest on the album (albeit the ballads are delivered much in the same way) and that is why I find it to be the best song. The message is clear: Either the human race cleans up its act or “If the seven seals will break/The final day will end in sorrow.”

Other songs serve to set the stage for the possible end of the world. “Demons and Angels” has Scheepers singing, “I’m facing the hell/And rise the prophecy” showing the end of times as prophesied beginning with the beginning of the time in which “Demons and angels will die.” The end times will be a time of trial and on “Rollercoaster” the one who is being faced by the demons is “nailed to the cross” in the same way Jesus was nailed and he cries out for help “Before I lose my faith” showing that there is still hope even in the desperate times of the end, and since the end times have not begun that hope of saving is even valid in the present day. If he does make the pact with the devil he will be under “and Evil Spell” as the song details those who give in to the temptation suffer condemnation to hell.

That fear of being stuck in hell is a common trend without the album with “Rollercoaster” calling for “Help me to mend my broken wings” and again on “Diabolus” Scheepers screeches that “I’m a singer that lives in a lie/I’ve been down to the deepest valley/Who am I? – Help me!” Further down on the song, there is even an imploration for God to set him free. I do not believe Primal Fear to be a Christian band, but throughout there music there is both criticism of the Christian faith as well as what appears to me a constant need for God’s help in the world. A stronger element appears on “Evil Spell” that the human race is overall condemned and evil, but there is still a glimmer of hope that comes through on “All for One” as everyone rises up against the evil and fights it back. That being said, the hope that shines through on a few of the tunes ultimately ends in devastation on the beautiful ballad “In Memory” when there appears to be a giving up of hope as the death of someone is “the reason to go down.”

This album is hard to truly peg as any one thing, and that may be part of the reason Primal Fear has been so good. Not only does their music grip you from fast extremes to slow, beautiful music expressed in piano and guitar melody, but the lyrics cause you to consider that there is hope while simultaneously presenting a horrible existence. That being said, the idea that the human race is on a downward spiral towards would could be the end of the “Seven Seals,” whether that is by the hand of God or what humans have brought down upon their own head is something to think about.
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
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